Coding fun with Pauline Maas

We had the privilege of welcoming Pauline Maas from the Netherlands on Friday 1 March 2019. Pauline and I met online when we were both asked to be #MSFTEDUChat hosts in November 2019. After the TweetMeet we stayed in contact. She told me that she is planning to visit a friend in South Africa and I invited her to spend some time with us and the rest is as they say history.

Her day started with #MIEFellow Xoliswa Mahlangu and a Grade 3 class at the Future Nations School in Fleurhof on the outskirts of Soweto. Pauline wowed the learners with her knowledge of the Micro:bit. She has various applications, tips and tricks up her sleeve which entertained the learners whilst they gained new skills.

Her next stop was at the eZone that is based in the School of Therapeutic Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. Here she spoke about computational thinking. She introduced the Micro:Bit once again and also showed the audience other applications. With the MakeyMakey everyone became a human piano.

The last stop of the day was at Fred and Martie’s soup kitchen in Claremont, Johannesburg.

They have started a Coding Club that aims to empower community members. At the moment there are 20 High School learners and 5 adults in the club.

Pauline was there to encourage them to code and to teach them how to use the Micro:bit. Unfortunately there was something wrong with the internet connection and we had to improvise and work offline. We decided to “programme” the students. One student would stand in the front and the rest of the group would “programme” him or her to do certain tasks. (Move forward, stand up, sit down etc) This was done to bring home the idea of algorithms.

The session ended with a Micro:bit competition that Pauline set up and it was enjoyed by everyone.

We would like to thank Pauline for her time and inspiration. We look forward to welcome her again to Johannesburg.

We would also like to thank the Micro:bit foundation for the donation of Micro:bits to the above 3 projects. We can’t wait to show everyone what we’re going to do with it.

For more information about Pauline please visit her website.

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